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Product page.   Zdnet is dubious: "Is the Amazon Kindle going to be a monthly fee nightmare?"   Curious to see how this does.    

I'm pretty sure you can read blogs on the Kindle.

Amazon just unveiled Kindle Matchbook.* Amazon will search all of your past book purchases, and if a "match" exists, allow you to buy the Kindle book for $2.99 or less. At the moment, only 6 of my p

Mr. Miller is kind of dumb, isn't he? A $14.95 per month Kindle subscription for NYTimes, compared to $5 a week delivered? $1.99 an issue for The Atlantic, compared to $2.45 per on a subscription. Gee, those monthly fees are really going to add up.

 

I would never give up my books, but if this hardware weren't so expensive, it could be a nice way of clearing the clutter from dozens of unread magazines. And think of the rainforests.

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  • 5 months later...

I got to fondle one last week.

Whatever.

 

A friend's initial order took 6 weeks and the unit was defective. The replacement arrived 2 days later. A second unit was ordered as a present and took just 2 weeks.

 

The main thing is I didn't find it pleasant too read. I constantly felt like I was reading a copy of a book, not a book. I can see a day when the screen will be in color and the price less than a hundred and then it would be handy for travel and magazines. It's going to take many more years before it is as attractive as paper, and I'm trying to be open minded.

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I constantly felt like I was reading a copy of a book, not a book.

You do know that a book is just a copy of a book?

Reminds me of a story. A friend of mine had a very nice, large old map, framed and hung on his wall. While sitting around one night drinking lots of whisky with him and his brother, brother looked up and said, "what person has a picture of a map on his wall?" I said, "that's not a picture of a map, that's actually a map."

 

A lot funnier at the time.

 

Any other thoughts on the Kindle? I saw a guy on the train with one. He looked cool, and the women nearby seemed aroused.

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I have a Sony Reader. It was a gift - I didn't think I would like it - but turns out I love it. It does have some downsides, though. I've played a little bit with the Kindle as my mom was given one at the same time but haven't used it enough to really compare them to each other.

 

I love:

-above all, taking it on trips. No more lugging a suitcase full of books. Just the Reader and the charger. Seriously has changed traveling for me. You can't imagine the panic of a trip a few years ago when halfway through, I finished all the books I thought would keep me for the whole trip - then finished my companion's books - and couldn't find an English language book anywhere for several days. Torture. I seriously picked up my companion's law textbook out of desperation. If you are a compulsive reader, buying an electronic book just for traveling may make sense.

-if I'm carrying the reader, no worries about finishing my book or magazine halfway home on the subway. Similar to above, I ALWAYS have something to read now.

-I can download text files and PDF files, so have used it on occasions I don't have my laptop handy and want to carry around electronic documents (and I can download things like Project Gutenberg etexts, though they end up formatted a bit weirdly).

-I'm perfectly happy with the reading experience; unlike my Reader, I did find that the Kindle had too many buttons on the side that I kept accidentally pushing, but perhaps you would get used to that. You can't take notes in the margin, but I don't do that for pleasure reading anyway. That would be a big downside otherwise.

 

I don't love:

-that I can't share books. Serious serious serious downside. Finish a great book, and, I can't lend it to anybody. Didn't realize ahead of time how sad that would make me. It's especially frustrating, probably, since my mom and I usually loan books to each other and we both went e-book at the same time.

-I think the Kindle has a much greater range of books available, but Sony's selection is limited. Mine came with 100 free of their "classic" books which was a bizarre idiosyncratic collection but had enough that I could download 100 and am slowly reading through them. I have bought several e-books as well, but have also gone looking to buy books they don't have. Heavy on the popular/genre fiction and non-fiction, otherwise pretty hit and miss.

-the Sony reader software on the computer, to buy and download books, is incredibly bad. Just poorly designed, slow, and frustrating. The Reader itself is totally intuitive, but finding books at the Sony Reader store and downloading them is a pain in the ass. Unlike the Kindle, the Reader has no wifi capability, so it must be plugged into your computer in order to download books.

 

I think that about sums it up. I like it a lot more than I thought I would. We'll see how it holds up for my two weeks in Ethiopia and Uganda in August, but no way I'm shlepping books rather than the Reader there.

 

It is weird that it's a novelty item still, so I've had a lot more conversations with strangers on the NYC subway and everywhere else than I've ever had in my life, but I imagine that will calm down some day.

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